When we feel disconnected from others, when we don’t feel like part of a community, it is hard to not feel lonely. But there is a whole world of people who we can invite in to be a part of the group we build around ourselves. Here is an excerpt from Dare to Connect where Susan describes the ‘how’ of creating authentic connections.
There are many people out there who would joyfully share our lives. We just have to invite them in. Don’t expect them to invite you into their world. They may or they may not. If they do, that’s icing on the cake. But it’s really up to you.
- Invite someone to have lunch or dinner or go to a movie with you. Don’t expect him or her to invite you.
- Knock on your neighbor’s door and invite them in for a cup of coffee. If they’re not at home, leave them a note to call on you. Don’t expect them to invite you.
- Think about what you love to do and take some classes that revolve around these activities. Invite someone in the class to an activity that is related to this particular shared interest. Don’t expect him or her to invite you.
- After a weekend workshop, you make the suggestion that everyone gets together at your house for a reunion. Don’t expect them to invite you.
Extend the hand of friendship to many people, so that if a few disappoint you there are always others. There is a wonderful old adage, ‘Have at least eight friends. If you need something, seven of them will be busy!’ Remember, there is no shortage of potential friends. There are probably only a few million people in your immediate area that would greatly welcome your companionship! If you live in a small town the numbers may be fewer, but the principle is the same.
The world can be a friendly place, or it can be hostile. The critical factor is our attitude. If we think the world will treat us badly we close our doors, thus plunging ourselves into darkness. If we think the world will embrace us lovingly, we open our doors and step into a world filled with enlightening experiences.